Launceston Castle Cornwall. 

It looks lovely in this photo, but it has a strange and unhappy feeling. There are certain places in the town where past history has left a terrible feeling of darkness and negativity. The castle is one of them and the main town square another. The Reformation left a  very bloody stain on Launceston. People were hung drawn and quartered in the main square.

I was for nine years the Vicar of St Stephen’s Launceston. The town has a very  nasty past in connection with the Reformation.It was a Royalist stronghold and there was an almost fanatical devotion to Elizabeth I.

Saint Cuthbert Mayne (1544–1577) was the first English Roman Catholic “seminary priest” to be martyred under the laws of Elizabeth I. He was martyred in the main square of the town. He was imprisoned in the dungeon at Launceston Castle. It was a place that always gave me the creeps, even on a sunny spring day. The dungeon is now in ruins, but I could never walk past without shuddering.

While in Cornwall in 1656 George Fox, the Quaker, and a friend were arrested and taken to a magistrate who imprisoned them in Launceston Castle prison for having long hair. They were imprisoned for nine weeks before being escorted to trial by a body of soldiers. The charges against them were not proved but they were fined for not taking their hats off in court and were sent back to Launceston Prison until they paid their fine; something Fox was not inclined to do as it was unjust.

Some terrible atrocities were inflicted on Catholics and dissenters in Launceston. As a result of the prayer book rebellion 28 Cornishmen were executed at Launceston Castle. Good Queen Bess as she is popularly called was no saint. The first Elizabethan age was one of terror and retribution.


Main entrance in the Town to the Castle

A question I often ask myself is this. Is there an objective reality of evil in places where terrible atrocities have been committed, or is it a subjective phenomena as a result of being familiar with past history? Possibly its a little bit of both.

Personally I’m of the opinion that evil atrocities and wicked acts have left vibrations that some people are able to pick up. It’s almost as if “spilt blood” can cry from the very ground where it has been shed.

That strange quotation from Genesis 4:10 may hold the clue.

Then the Lord said to Cain, “What have you done? The voice of your brother’s blood is crying to me from the ground.”